How to Choose Flowers for Your Garden

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Gardening involves a lot of trial and error for most people. Gardeners often plant a flower in one place and then move it every year until they find the best spot for it. Many people frequently find that some flowers don’t live up to their expectations when they bought it. It seems that choosing the best flowers for our gardens is more involved than just going to the local gardening center and picking something pretty. Here are some tips to help make your plant selections more successful for your flower garden.


Before you go shopping you need to know how many hours of direct sunlight your flower garden gets. All plants are marked as full sun, partial sun, or shade to help you decide where to plant them. Shade plants need less than 4 hours of sunlight. Partial sun and partial shade mean the same thing. Partial sun plants need 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight. Full sun plants need more than 6 hours of sunlight. If your flowers get more or less than the recommended amount of sunlight they may not do as well as you expect.

Annual or Perennials

Perennials will come back year after year and often multiply giving you more plants for free. Perennials usually have shorter seasons of blooms so it’s best to choose several kinds that bloom from spring to fall. Perennials are more expensive, but you won’t have to replant them next year. Popular perennials are shasta daisies, daylilies, and hostas.

Annuals only last one season, but they usually provide constant blooms from spring to fall. Annuals cost less in the store, but you will have to replant them next year. Annuals are great in containers and can be combined with perennials to give more color to your garden. Popular annuals are petunias, marigolds, and impatiens.

Look for Native Plants

Check out your neighbors’ gardens. Chances are you will see that most people in your neighborhood will use the same plants because they grow well in your area. You may be tempted by showy exotic flowers, but even seasoned gardeners can have problems with these touchy plants. Go to your local nursery and ask a professional what flowers grow best in your area if you can’t decide.


Everyone wants a beautiful garden and most of us can decide what colors look good together without help. If your unsure what colors to choose, think about using a monochromatic, contrasting, or analogous color scheme. A monochromatic color scheme involves using different shades of the same color. Contrasting colors are colors found on opposite ends of the color wheel such as yellow and purple, blue and orange, or red and green. Analogous colors are found on the same side of the color wheel. Examples of analogous colors are blue, purple, and pink, or red, orange, and yellow.


Make sure you pay attention to the size of the flower you are buying. All plants are marked by how tall they get. Plant taller flowers in the back of your garden. If your garden is visible from all sides, plant taller flowers in the center. The shortest flowers should be placed in front.

Health of the Plants

Many gardening shops have a return policy if the plant dies with a specific period of time, but there are some things to look for to spot a healthy plant. Look for insects or signs of disease on the plants. There shouldn’t be any brown or wilted leaves. The plant should have flower buds on it. A plant in full bloom is pretty in the store, but depending on the flower, you might not see another flower on it until next year. Look for a healthy root system that fills the pot or nearly fills it. It’s ok to remove the plant from the pot to inspect the roots.

Looking for more gardening tips? Continue on through MommyMatter and find all the latest gardening help you need!

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